The March Through the Arch is a new tradition to welcome new students to campus. The marching band leads all on a celebratory walk through The Arch, the symbolic entrance to the University.
Current students, faculty, and staff line the pathway to cheer and welcome new students to campus.
The students are led by the marching band to Deering Meadow for an official welcome address from the University.
For more than 80 years, talented students – including Warren Beatty and Ann Margaret – have performed in Northwestern’s annual musical review, Waa-Mu. The production began as a joint effort of the University’s Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) and Men’s Union (MU).
Waa-Mu is written, composed, performed, choreographed, and presented by undergraduates.
Students began painting the iconic Rock in the 1940s, first as a prank, then as an accepted avenue of expression. Now, almost every night, a different group paints a message or symbols promoting a particular cause or event.
Dance Marathon -- one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the country -- has raised a combined total of more than $12 million for various Chicago-area charities.
More than 1,000 students participate in Dance Marathon each year.
The first Dance Marathon lasted 52 hours, and only 15 out of 21 student couples made it to the end. Today, almost 40 years later, students dance for 30 hours and nearly one out of eight students participate.
Each fall Northwestern alumni and friends return to campus for a fun-filled weekend of homecoming activities. The festive weekend includes a parade, football game, and, of course, the crowning of a king queen.
Student groups show their Wildcat pride by decorating floats for the annual Homecoming Parade.
The tradition of Willie the Wildcat was established in 1924 when Wallace Abbey of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The Northwestern team fought like wildcats yesterday..." From then on the "Wildcats" was officially adopted as the University's athletic nickname.
The first University-sanctioned marching band was organized in 1911 and the band has delighted millions of students, alumni, and spectators since.
The band is still a fan-favorite and performs pre-game and half-time drills at each home football game.
Fans show their claws in a Wildcat growl, a traditional student cheer.
Ryan Field is a busy place on football Saturdays when fans gather to cheer on the Wildcats led by Coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Commencement ceremonies in early summer are a treasured capstone to each year.